Michigan Governor Lights a Fire Under State's Renewable Fuels Commission
Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm has made it clear that she wants Michigan to be the preeminent developer and user of alternative fuels in the United States. Granholm has appointed a 26-member commission to create a state plan to increase production and research of ethanol, biodiesel, and other alternative fuels as early as summer 2007.
Granholm has told the press, "I don’t want to be bypassed by other states. I want to lead the nation" And at the first Michigan Renewable Fuels Commission meeting on November 30, she said, "Think big; think of Michigan on the cover of Newsweek …." For additional information, see the Michigan Renewable Fuels Commission November 15 press release (PDF 34 KB).
Granholm says that Michigan could lead the country in producing and using alternative fuels because the Detroit automakers are renewable fuels customers, an expansive agricultural industry can grow crops for biofuels, and the state’s research universities can accelerate biofuel development.
The commission was created earlier this year as part of a seven-bill package designed to spur growth of the state’s alternative fuel industry. The package also reduced the gas tax – by 36 percent on fuel that contains ethanol and by 20 percent on biodiesel blends. The legislation provided grants to service station owners who renovate or expand their existing stations to make E-85 and biodiesel available, and allowed for the creation of new agriculture “renaissance zones” to help spur additional ethanol and biodiesel plants. Granholm has called for the state to have 1,000 biofuel pumps available by 2008.
Source: December 7 news story published by the Center for American Progress.